Lords Committee to open inquiry into the pre-emption of Parliament

15 January 2013

The House of Lords Constitution Committee will this week hold its first evidence session in a short inquiry into the pre-emption of Parliament.

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The Committee is exploring how far it is appropriate for the Government to take action to prepare for and implement proposals in a Bill which have yet to be approved by Parliament. This issue has been of interest recently as the Government and a number of public bodies took steps to implement aspects of the Public Bodies Bill which were then rejected by Parliament and removed from the Bill. 

The issue also arose in relation to the Health and Social Care Bill, when the Government argued that it would cause more disruption to the NHS to abandon the Bill than to pass it, because of the extent of the preparations under way. A further example is the implementation of changes to financial regulation contained in the recent Financial Services Bill.

The Committee’s first evidence session in this inquiry will be held at 10.30am on Wednesday 16 January in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.  The Committee will hear evidence from two academics involved in a study ‘shrinking the state’, which is looking at the ‘Government’s major reform of arm’s length bodies’. 

The witnesses  are:

  • Professor Christopher Skelcher, Professor of Public Governance, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Katherine Dommett, Research Fellow, Politics Department, University of Sheffield.

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